“Note to Self,” Claudette Schreuders’s fifth show at the gallery, transports the viewer into an airy and eerie realm via her waist-high painted wooden statues and smaller than life-sized busts, along with wall-hung prints. The South African artist has cited the influence of African sculpture—particularly Colon and Baule Blolo carved statues—which she melds with autobiographical subject matter.
A stocky and diminutive school girl, with a blue pleated skirt, no shirt and a ten thousand yard stare, is positioned on a plinth near the front door. She is simultaneously vulnerable and distant. A suite of lithographs, each modeled with a black brushy line, have a watercolorlike appearance. The two dimensional figures appear monolithic, stoic and timeless. One litho, titled Romance, features an elegant horse; another, Great Expectations, shows a pensive barefoot female figure lying on the ground.
Near the entrance to the back room stands a sculpture of a woman drawing in a sketch book. Paint is splattered on her apron, suggesting a self-portrait of the artist. Arrayed in the room behind this sentrylike figure are carved and painted heads and full figures on plinths, like an album of beloved influencers, family and friends. The panoply includes Alice Neel, Nelson Mandela and Balthus. —Lindsay Pollock
Pictured: View of Claudette Schreuders’s exhibition “Note to Self,” 2015. Courtesy Jack Shainman Gallery.